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Schematic representation of the experiment. A quantum dot coupled to an optical microcavity (in inset a real image of the device) emits light in a state that is simultaneously a single photon, two photons, and no photon at all: a quantum superposition of photon-numbers. Credit: C2N / J.C. Loredo, C. Anton & al.
Physicists at C2N have demonstrated for the first time the direct generation of light in a state that is simultaneously a single photon, two photons, and no photon at all. They showed that the same kind of light emitter used for decades is also able to generate these quantum states, and expect that this holds true for any kind of atomic system.
Quantum - Superposition - Property - Quantum - Physics
Quantum superposition is a property of quantum physics that allows objects to exist simultaneously in different states. A famous theoretical example is the Schrödinger's cat, which is both dead and alive. Let us imagine a mouse trying to find the exit of a maze. In the classical realm, it will try every path, one at the time, until it finally finds the exit. In the quantum world, however, superposition allows the mouse to try all different paths simultaneously, therefore finding the exit much faster. For light, superposition has been shown in several of its properties. For instance, in its polarization, where the electromagnetic field of a single photon oscillates both vertically and horizontally, or in a path, taking all possible trajectories inside interferometers, the photonic version of a maze. Superposition is also possible in...
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